The Best Ways to Fly to Bora Bora With Points and Miles

Bora Bora

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Bora Bora is a name and destination that elicits vivid images of white sand, impeccable beaches, and utter calm. This small South Pacific island is situated northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia, and its seclusion, privacy, and untouched nature have made it a huge luxury resort destination.

While Bora Bora and the Maldives are often discussed in the same breath, the Maldives is extremely far from the U.S. Bora Bora, on the other hand, could be as little as 9 hours away from the continental U.S. or 7 hours away from Hawaii. As a result, it is much more accessible than the Maldives.

If enjoying immaculate waters, private beaches, and nature is part of your ideal travel destinations, you’re definitely going to want to pay attention as we outline the best ways to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti with points and miles.

Best Programs to Use to Book Flights

Because of the lack of long, flat, and uniform strips of land in French Polynesia, it’s impossible to fly nonstop to Bora Bora.

Instead, all international flights arrive at Pape’ete’s airport, Faa’a International Airport (PPT), which is interlinked by Air Tahiti via turboprop and other small aircraft that fly to the various islands, including Bora Bora (BOB) (a 45-minute flight away). For this reason, you’ll want to book your long-haul award flights separately from the inter-island segments.

If you’re thinking about flying from the U.S., here are all of your route options:

  1. Air France
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  2. Air Tahiti Nui
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  3. United Airlines
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  4. French Bee
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  5. Hawaiian Airlines
    • Honolulu (HNL) – Pape’ete (PPT)

Of all of these flights, French Bee can be eliminated, as they don’t offer an award chart for flights. Plus, they only have premium economy and economy seats. In order of preference, one should follow this list in order of best-to-worst business class product:

  1. Air France, a true business class flight with lie-flat reverse herringbone seats on the 777 in a 1-2-1 configuration
  2. Air Tahiti Nui, a unique business class option with lie-flat seats on the 787-9 in a 2-2-2 configuration
  3. United Airlines, a solid business class option with lie-flat B/E Aerospace Diamond seats on the 787-8 in a 2-2-2 configuration
  4. Hawaiian Airlines, a solid business class option with lie-flat seats on the A330-200 in a 2-2-2 configuration but only offers flights from Hawaii

Let’s talk about our booking options!

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Air France Business Class
Air France exudes french elegance and classic luxury. Image Credit: Air France

As we mentioned above, Air France operates a nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT) aboard the 777-200ER. Luckily for us, Air France’s 777-200ER operated on this route has an excellent business class product.

The absolute best way to book Air France business class on this route is by using its own currency: Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. Flying Blue employs variable award pricing, which means that flights in business class can be as expensive as 300,000+ miles one-way!

At the same time, you’re going to look out for the “saver” level availability, which basically means the lowest cost in miles. Here are the saver availability award prices for the nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT):

Class of ServiceFlying Blue Miles Cost (Saver)Taxes and Fees 
Economy25,500$124 departing ($83 returning)
Premium Economy51,000$190 departing ($150 returning)
Business64,000-73,500$227 departing ($267 returning)

The reason why there are 2 price points for business class is that although the cheapest cost is 64,000 miles, theoretically, the most realistic saver-level price you’ll see is 73,500 miles. In the entire calendar, there are typically no flights available from LAX to PPT for 64,000 miles and maybe 1 or 2 flights available from PPT to LAX for 64,000 miles.

On the flip-side, there are lots of available tickets, particularly from PPT to LAX, for 73,500 miles. There are quite a few available tickets from LAX to PPT for 73,500 miles, but you’ll definitely need to use the calendar search to find those. As a result, the most likely price you’ll end up paying is 73,500 Flying Blue miles if booking a business class flight.

Note: You can technically book Air France business class from between LAX to PPT using Delta SkyMiles, but it’s a terrible deal at 100,000 SkyMiles one-way with the lowest level availability. This means you’ll have to find dates with “64,000 Flying Blue miles” availability, and then pay 100,000 SkyMiles +$51 in taxes and fees one-way for that flight. Alitalia charges 120,000 miles one-way and Aeromexico charges a fortune, so Air France/KLM Flying Blue is definitely your best bet.

Hot Tip: Want some inspiration on other ways to use Air France miles? Check out our best ways to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles!

Once you’ve decided on booking Air France business class, follow these steps to ticket and confirm the reservation:

  1. Visit Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
  2. Choose the country of your choice.
  3. On the homepage, click the button in the search box that says Use your miles.
  4. Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue Number and Password.
  5. Choose round-trip or one-way.
  6. Type in Los Angeles (LAX) and Tahiti, Faa’a (PPT).
  7. Choose your departure date and return date.
  8. Be sure to check off the box that says You are looking for a flight around these dates.
  9. Select the number of passengers.
  10. Choose your cabin class.
  11. Click Find a flight.
  12. Find the flight of your liking.
  13. Confirm the ticket and pay for taxes and fees.

Earning Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles

There are so many ways to earn Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles that you won’t have any problem racking them up quickly.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase, Amex, and Citi transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. Chase transfers in around 1 hour, Amex transfers almost instantly, and Citi takes around 2 business days. Capital One transfers at a 2:1.5 ratio almost instantly. Lastly, Marriott transfers in around 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

The best part about Air France/KLM Flying Blue is that Amex and Citi often have transfer bonuses of up to 30%, which could reduce the cost of a business class flight from 73,500 miles to 56,538!

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services.

Bottom Line: Using Flying Blue miles is the easiest way to book Air France awards in business class to Tahiti. Between the numerous transfer partners, the attractive saver redemption prices, excellent business class product, and even the decent availability of premium cabin seats, you should absolutely aim to book Air France business class to Bora Bora via Tahiti.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Air Tahiti Nui Business Class
Air Tahiti Nui Business Class. Image Credit: Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui is the French airline that flies long-haul flights from Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport. Traditionally, they’ve flown the Airbus A340-300, but they’ve since swapped over to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Historically, they’ve flown to Sydney, Osaka, and even New York City (JFK), but these flights have been discontinued. In fact, their fleet consists of a whopping 4 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and nothing else, so they only operate a few flights to/from Pape’ete (PPT).

These are:

  • Paris (CDG) – Los Angeles (LAX) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Pape’ete (PPT)
  • Auckland (AKL) – Pape’ete (PPT)

Booking Air Tahiti Nui is easiest when using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You can confirm and ticket flights completely online and award availability is most consistent and generous on American Airlines’ online portal.

Although Air Tahiti Nui is airline partners with Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, and other frequent flyer programs, they don’t seem to have anywhere near the same access to award availability.

For example, attempts to verify 10-20 award seats using AAdvantage on Air Tahiti Nui business class with Delta SkyMiles or Flying Blue yielded no results.

If you’re a U.S. traveler, you’re going to be traveling on their sole U.S. route:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Pape’ete (PPT)

The award chart for one-way flights on this route will be:

Class of ServiceAAdvantage Miles CostTaxes and Fees
Economy40,000$27
Premium Economy65,000$27
Business80,000$27

This award chart is exceedingly simple, but it shows that flying on Air Tahiti Nui business class is indeed possible using miles. As we alluded to earlier, you can book awards completely online. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow to book your Air Tahiti Nui award with American Airlines AAdvantage miles:

  1. Visit American Airlines AAdvantage.
  2. On the middle-left box, log in with your AAdvantage # or username, last name, and password.
  3. After logging in, click Plan Travel on the top banner of the homepage.
  4. Click Flights.
  5. Check off the box that says Redeem miles.
  6. Choose your trip type, whether it’s Round trip, one way, or multi-city.
  7. Type in the origin and destination cities.
  8. Choose your departure and return dates.
  9. Select the number of passengers.
  10. Under Options, change the Class to Business and the Airline to All airlines.
  11. Click Search.
  12. Choose your flights.
  13. Continue booking your flights and pay with miles and for taxes and fees.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

You can easily earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You can put your spend on Citi or Barclays co-branded American AAdvantage credit cards or transfer from Marriott Bonvoy to get a large balance of miles quickly.

Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. Transfers take 2 business days to execute.

Once you’ve accumulated an appreciable balance of AAdvantage miles, you can also get some inspiration on the best ways to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles for maximum value.

Bottom Line: In practice, American Airlines AAdvantage presents the best way to book nonstop flights to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui. With the easy booking process, straightforward user interface of the online search engine, ease of earning miles, and plentiful award availability, you’ll definitely want to consider using American Airlines AAdvantage for your Bora Bora flights via Tahiti.

ANA Mileage Club

Air New Zealand 787 Business Class
Because New Zealand and Tahiti are in the same zone, you can use ANA miles to book a stopover for free! Image Credit: Air New Zealand

All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) loyalty program is called ANA Mileage Club and there are some fantastic ways to redeem ANA miles.

The executive summary of the loyalty program is as follows:

  • Region-based award charts
  • 1 award chart for ANA flights and 1 award chart for partner flights
  • Seasonality rules for ANA flights, but not for partner flights
  • One-way flights are not allowed
  • 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw allowed

ANA categorizes Oceania and Micronesia into a large collection of destinations:

  • American Samoa, Vanuatu, Wake Island, Australia, Caroline Islands, Phoenix Islands, Kiribati, Gilbert Islands, Cook Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos Island, Samoa, Johnston Atoll, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Tonga, Nauru, Niue, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Marshall Islands, Mariana Islands (excluding Guam), Wallis and Futana Islands

This means that we can use ANA’s generous routing rules to get free stopovers and business class flights even further than Tahiti. We can plan trips to Australia and New Zealand, in addition to French Polynesia.

For flights from North America to Oceania and Micronesia, you will pay the following in redemption prices:

Class of ServiceANA Miles CostTaxes and Fees
Economy75,000Variable (dependent on carrier airline)
Business120,000Variable (dependent on carrier airline)

ANA Mileage Club is a program where we can use lots of creativity to structure some unique vacations. If you’re happy to visit another destination in Oceania, you can find some amazing value. To plan your travel, you’ll want to find flights that head directly into Oceania.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make for excellent value:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Auckland (AKL) – Pape’ete (PPT) – San Francisco (SFO) in Air New Zealand business class and United Airlines business class for 120,000 ANA miles
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Pape’ete (PPT) – Auckland (AKL) – San Francisco (SFO) on United Airlines business class and Air New Zealand business class for 120,000 ANA miles
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Auckland (AKL) – Pape’ete (PPT) – San Francisco (SFO) on Air New Zealand  and United Airlines economy class for 75,000 ANA miles

To begin booking flights using ANA miles, you can visit the ANA website and follow these steps:

  1. Visit ANA’s homepage.
  2. On the left side of the page, click the button that says Award Booking.
  3. Log in with your ANA Mileage Club Number and Password.
  4. If you’re booking a multi-city flight with a stopover/open-jaw like the example routes above, click Multiple cities/Mixed classes. Otherwise, type in your inputs as normal.
  5. Enter the flight dates, origin and destination cities, number of passengers, and class of service.
  6. Click Search.
  7. Choose your flights.
  8. Pay with ANA miles and use your credit card for any taxes and fees.
  9. Transfers to ANA aren’t instant. You might be able to call ANA Mileage Club at 800-235-9262 to request an award hold, but this doesn’t always work.

Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

There are lots of ways to earn ANA miles. ANA Mileage Club is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. With the right cards, you’ll earn tons of ANA miles very quickly.

American Express transfers at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to ANA. This means that for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you’ll earn 25,000 ANA miles instead of 20,000.

American Express Membership Rewards transfers to ANA take around 3 business days to complete, while Marriott Bonvoy takes around 7 business days to process transfers.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, worth up to $600 towards travel. Terms Apply.

However — you may be eligible for a (much) higher offer by using the CardMatch Tool. (There's no pull on your credit to check for personalized offers.)

This is our #1 card for accessing 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$2,700+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x. Terms Apply). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and up to $100 airline fee credit per calendar year, it's a strong choice. For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Recommend American Express Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

See how we get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks, including access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates & fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month, such as Facebook or Google ads. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. After that, you earn 1x. Terms Apply. For rates & fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This card is offering a welcome bonus of up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. A super simple, no annual fee card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually. After that, then 1x. Terms Apply. That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year. For rates & fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Bottom Line: If you’re open to visiting New Zealand and Bora Bora on the same trip, ANA Mileage Club will absolutely help you achieve this goal, thanks to their generous routing rules and region-based award chart. There are lots of ways to earn ANA miles, thanks to the American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy partnerships. Best of all, the booking process can be completed 100% online! 

United MileagePlus

United Airlines Polaris Business Class
When you book an award on United to Bora Bora via Tahiti, it’s important to consider the seats that your aircraft will have. Lie-flat seats are the ideal way to travel. Image Credit: United

United Airlines MileagePlus has undergone quite a few loyalty program changes. The United MileagePlus award chart no longer exists, and all award flights are now variably priced, depending on various factors that aren’t made apparent to travelers.

However, if you’re going to fly to Bora Bora, one of the nonstop routes is on United Airlines from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT). With booking on MileagePlus, you’ll enjoy the best award availability for this flight.

Additionally, the saver-level awards will cost as little as:

Class of ServiceUnited Miles CostTaxes and Fees
Economy35,000$5.60
Business70,000$50

Finding award availability will be extremely challenging, especially if you’re looking for the lowest-level saver awards. Nonetheless, United miles can be a solid choice if you find availability for these benefits:

  • Best award availability for United flights
  • Ease of earning United miles, especially for Chase cardholders
  • Easy, online booking process
  • Low taxes and fees

United Airlines has a stopover policy that is incredibly niche, known as the Excursionist Perk. Unfortunately, there aren’t any partners that offer flights within the same Oceania region because Australia and New Zealand are separate regions.

Once you’re ready to book, you can follow these simple steps to book your United MileagePlus award:

  1. Go to United’s website.
  2. Log in on the top-right corner by clicking Sign in.
  3. Enter your MileagePlus number and password. Click Sign In.
  4. After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the homepage.
  5. Choose your trip type, Roundtrip or One-way.
  6. Check off the box that says Book with miles.
  7. Type in your From and To cities, along with travel date(s), number of passengers, and class of booking.
  8. Choose the flights that fit your travel plans.
  9. Pay with United miles and for any taxes and fees.

Earning United MileagePlus Miles

Although there are countless ways to earn United miles, primarily, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Marriott points.

Chase transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott transfers within 2 business days at a 3:1.1 ratio with a 5,500-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. This means that if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to United, you’ll earn 27,500 United miles.

Hot Tip: Interested in earning one of the most valuable points out there? Check out our in-depth guide on how to earn lots of Chase points fast!

Additionally, you can use the co-branded United credit cards from Chase to earn United miles directly. Overall, United miles are a great currency to use to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti.

Bottom Line: Although business class award availability on United’s nonstop flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT) is nearly impossible to come by, you can consider using United miles for economy flights to Tahiti, which only costs 35,000 one-way! Coupled with United’s best award availability and easy to earn miles, you can understand why we like United MileagePlus. 

Avianca LifeMiles

United Business Class
Your flight to Bora Bora via Tahiti on United Airlines won’t be as glamorous as an Emirates first class suite, but it’s a comfortable way to get to your final destination. Image Credit: United

If you want to fly on United Airlines’ nonstop flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT) but don’t have a large balance of United miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll be pleased to find out that there’s a cost-effective way to use other points.

Avianca LifeMiles is an excellent frequent flyer program. Although their phone agents and customer service are severely lacking, their online booking engine is good enough to book your awards completely online.

Also, Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges, and there are many  ways to earn LifeMiles. There are also some phenomenal ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles for maximum value, which is definitely what we love about this program.

You’ll pay the following prices for one-way flights to Pape’ete (PPT) from the U.S.:

Class of ServiceAvianca LifeMiles CostTaxes and Fees
Economy40,000$30.60
Business80,000$30.60

Once you’re ready to book, you can follow this procedure:

  1. Visit LifeMiles.
  2. On the top-right, click the circular flag icon. Change the language to English.
  3. On the top-right again, click the Log in button and log in using your LifeMiles number/username and Password.
  4. After being redirected to the homepage, click the button on the top banner that says Fly.
  5. Type in your origin and destination cities, along with number of passengers and cabin class.
  6. Choose your travel dates.
  7. Select your flights.
  8. Pay with LifeMiles and for any taxes and fees.

Earning Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles are slightly more expensive than United MileagePlus miles, but it’s a close competition. However, because of frequent LifeMiles transfer bonuses, you can end up getting a flight for even cheaper than United MileagePlus!

The beauty of Avianca LifeMiles are the fact that they have lots of transfer partners, specifically American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy. You can also earn Avianca LifeMiles directly from the co-branded Banco Popular credit cards.

Amex and Citi transfer at a 1:1 ratio, whereas Capital One transfers at a 2:1.5 ratio. Amex, Citi, and Capital One all transfer almost instantaneously. Marriott transfers in less than 24 hours. When you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus to get a total of 25,000 LifeMiles per 60,000 Marriott points.

Amex, Citi, and Capital One have all historically offered transfer bonuses to Avianca LifeMiles, often up to 30%, which can drastically reduce your miles cost. Furthermore, you can even buy miles at some crazy-good prices, as Avianca LifeMiles often offers promotions of up to 145% bonus miles.

If you put all this together, you’ll discover that Avianca LifeMiles are incredibly easy and cost-effective to earn.

Recommended Marriott Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Hawaiian Airlines Business Class
Hawaiian Airlines business class aboard their A330-200. Image Credit: Hawaiian Airlines

If you’re originating in Hawaii, there’s actually a nonstop flight from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) via Hawaiian Airlines! A significantly shorter flight, this ~6-hour medium-haul flight can be an excellent choice for those based in Hawaii. The best way to book this flight is on Hawaiian Airlines’ own loyalty program: HawaiianMiles.

When you fly on Hawaiian Airlines business class, you’ll enjoy a fully lie-flat bed at your seat. Though you don’t get direct-aisle access at every seat, you’ll receive awesome Polynesian service, bright catering, and an experience that’ll put you in the vacation spirit.

Hawaiian Airlines groups their award availability into a series of buckets. Their award chart is as follows for their cheapest level of award space on the one-way Honolulu (HNL) – Pape’ete (PPT) flight:

Cabin ClassHawaiianMiles CostTaxes and Fees
Discount Saver Economy24,750~$27
Saver Economy27,500~$27
Saver Business47,500~$27

To use HawaiianMiles to book your award ticket, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Hawaiian Airlines’ website.
  2. On the top-right, click Sign In.
  3. Log in with your HawaiianMiles Number and Password.
  4. On the top ribbon of the page, click Book. Then, click Flights.
  5. Choose your trip type, from Roundtrip, One-Way, or Multi-City.
  6. Type in your city pairs, travel dates, number of passengers, and click Miles under Show Fare as.
  7. Click Search Flights.
  8. Choose your flight(s).
  9. Pay with your HawaiianMiles and for taxes and fees.

Earning Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Earning Hawaiian Airlines miles is easy, thanks to transfer partners American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy and co-branded Hawaiian Airlines credit cards that earn miles directly.

Amex transfers at a 1:1 ratio almost instantaneously. Marriott transfers in around 1-2 business days at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

You can also earn HawaiianMiles directly from the co-branded Barclays credit cards: the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® and Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Hawaiian Airlines Business Class
Hawaiian Airlines Business Class. Image Credit: Hawaiian Airlines

If you’re on the radar for booking the Hawaiian Airlines flight but want to use the fewest points possible, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is your best bet. JAL Mileage Bank employs distance-based award charts, and their round-trip pricing is cheaper than 2 one-way tickets due to the nature of its award chart.

There are lots of other best ways to redeem Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles for maximum value, so don’t overlook those.

The journey from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) is 2,746 miles according to JAL’s distance calculator, so it falls under the distance band of 2,001-4,000 miles for one-way tickets and 4,001-6,000 miles for round-trip tickets.

This means that the following award chart applies for Honolulu (HNL) – Pape’ete (PPT) flights:

Cabin ClassOne-Way Japan Airlines Miles CostRound-Trip Japan Airlines Miles CostTaxes and Fees (One-Way)
Economy23,00037,000~$27
Premium Economy42,00046,000~$27
Business42,00060,000~$27

When you compare this to the lowest possible HawaiianMiles cost of 24,750 in economy and 47,500 miles in business one-way, you’ll see how Japan Airlines miles can save you a small chunk of change.

To book, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Visit Japan Airlines’ website.
  2. Choose your closest hub city and select English.
  3. Click the button on the red banner that says JAL Mileage Bank Login.
  4. Log in with your JAL Mileage Bank Number and 6-digit PIN Number.
  5. After being redirected to the homepage, click the button on the red banner that says Award Ticket.
  6. Click the small button at the bottom of the red banner that says Book JMB Partner Airlines Award Ticket.
  7. Choose round-trip or one-way. Select your Partner Airline.
  8. Choose your travel date(s), city pairs, class of service, and number of passengers.
  9. Select your flights and click Continue.
  10. Pay with miles and for any taxes and fees.

Earning Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles

There are lots of ways to earn JAL miles. Marriott Bonvoy is the only transfer partner at a transfer rate of 3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to Japan Airlines.

Transfers to Japan Airlines from Marriott Bonvoy complete in around 48 hours or 2 business days.

Final Thoughts

Whew! There’s a good number of ways to fly nonstop from the U.S. to French Polynesia. You’ll have to fly to Pape’ete (PPT) before transferring on an inter-island flight to Bora Bora, but the options overall are plentiful.

In this guide, we looked at all your nonstop options, including a flight from Hawaii! We looked at flying on Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, United Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines. You can book all of these products using points and miles. Best of all, there are many different ways to book these products depending on where you have most of your points.

Now, you have an excellent idea of how you can fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti with points and miles! You’ll be enjoying the perfect sandy beaches in no time when you use our detailed, step-by-step guide.


The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

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Frequently asked questions

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book an economy class award flight to Bora Bora?

The cheapest cost for using miles to book an economy class award to Bora Bora via Tahiti is to use 25,500 Flying Blue miles to book an Air France flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT).

A Star Alliance option is using 35,000 United miles or 40,000 Avianca LifeMiles for one-way flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT) on United Airlines economy class.

If you want to fly round-trip, you can use 75,000 ANA miles to fly round-trip on Star Alliance economy class.

If you want to fly on Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT), you can spend 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a one-way flight.

Lastly, those based in Hawaii can qualify for some pretty good pricing on flights from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT). You can pay as little as 23,000 Japan Airlines miles one-way or 37,000 Japan Airlines miles round-trip in economy.

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book a business class award flight to Bora Bora?

If you want to fly on Air France business class, you’ll probably want to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. Although you can redeem as little as 64,000 miles for one-way business class, the most realistic price will be 73,500 miles.

If you’re flying Air Tahiti Nui business class, you can redeem 80,000 AAdvantage miles one-way.

If you’re flying on United business class from SFO to PPT, you can redeem 70,000 United miles one-way, 80,000 Avianca LifeMiles one-way, or 120,000 ANA miles round-trip.

Lastly, if you’re flying from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) on Hawaiian Airlines, you can spend 47,500 HawaiianMiles for the cheapest awards in business class or 42,000 Japan Airlines miles in business class. For a round-trip flight using JAL miles, you can get business class for 60,000 miles.

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book a first class award flight to Bora Bora?

Unfortunately, there are currently no first class options from the U.S. to Bora Bora, so you can’t use miles to book a first class award flight directly to Bora Bora.

Which airlines include carrier-imposed surcharges on award flights to Bora Bora?

Fuel surcharges will be very modest on this route. If you want to minimize your out-of-pocket cost, you’ll want to fly with United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, or Air Tahiti Nui.

Air France business class taxes and fees are around $200 one-way, but it may be worth it to try an excellent business class product.

What is the best airline to fly to Bora Bora?

The best rankings for airlines to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti in business class is:

  1. Air France
  2. Air Tahiti Nui
  3. United Airlines
  4. Hawaiian Airlines
  5. French Bee

Air France has a true business class product: lie-flat reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access. Also, Air France’s soft product always receives high marks.

Air Tahiti Nui offers a fun product, but the hard product isn’t as good as Air France’s. This is similarly true for United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

French Bee is a low-cost carrier that doesn’t offer business class. In fact, there’s no real way to use points to fly French Bee, anyway.

Can I use AA miles on Air Tahiti Nui?

Yes! You can redeem 40,000 AA miles for economy flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti, 65,000 AA miles for premium economy flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti, and 80,000 AA miles for business class flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti.

Taxes and fees will run you around $27 one-way.

How many hours is Bora Bora from California?

Tahiti (PPT), which is the main hub airport in French Polynesia, is only 8 hours flying distance from Los Angeles (LAX) and less than 9 hours flying distance from San Francisco (SFO).

After that, you’ll need to transfer on a turboprop plane to Bora Bora on a ~45 minute flight.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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